While I love all the new life and beauty spring brings around here, I dislike the allergies it brings to many of my family members. Autumn, however, has become my absolute favorite time of year. The weather changes, the smell of wood stoves burning, the morning dew and the vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges of the leaves.
There is something to love about cozy evenings filled with warm fragrances and nothing says cozy like apples, pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Some of my favorite fall memories are curling up on the couch with the family, enjoying a cup of hot apple cider, coffee or hot chocolate, a slice of a delicious fall flavor dessert and either a good book or movie.
When it comes to fall flavors around here, pumpkin is pretty much where it’s at and these pumpkin bars don’t disappoint! Not to mention your house will smell amazing while this bake away in the oven! I love this recipe because it is really simple and easy to make which is another bonus at this busy season and they can be made days in advance if necessary. The cooling time takes the longest and if you’re skipping the cream cheese frosting, you don’t have to wait as long but honestly, that cream cheese frosting really tops these bars off so my recommendation is… don’t skip the frosting. You won’t regret it.
I like to make these pumpkin bars half sheet pans, however, you can make them in a 9 x 13. They will be a thicker bar and you’ll have fewer of them to share but it will work. And if you’re looking for a great dessert to take to a fall themed party, there are perfect.
What are some of your favorite memories and fall desserts?
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil or coconut oil
1 can (15oz) pumpkin or 2 cups home-frozen pumpkin, thawed (what I used)
2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves
1 pkg (3oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottoms and sides of a 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan or a 9 x 13 pan (for more of a cake size) with shortening.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until smooth.
- Stir in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves. Spread the batter in your prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown (if you're using your own frozen pumpkin, you might need to bake it a little longer as sometimes home-frozen pumpkin can be a bit more watery).
- Cool the bars completely while still in pan (approx. 2 hours).
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and the vanilla until smooth. Gradually add in and beat the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until smooth and spreadable.
- Frost the bars and top with a light cinnamon or nutmeg dusting (if desired). Place in the refrigerator until firm. Cut the bars to desired size. Store in refrigerator.